Through his tireless work, Sam continues to be committed to the betterment of communities. In 2016, Sam received the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Volunteer Medal as a past recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. Also, in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Rick Hansen Difference Maker medallion. As a writer and blogger, his passion is to inspire and motivate others in their personal and professional development through his many adventures and reflections on life’s journey.
Sam has mentored hundreds and engaged with thousands of students and professionals over the last many years and as a result, was the Co-Founder and Chief Motivating Officer of GradusOne, an organization to help high school/post-secondary and recent graduates in their life and career. More recently, after a successful few years, GradusOne merged with the League of Innovators (LOI) and he now is an advisor to LOI. Added to this, Sam is an accomplished speaker and storyteller. Either as a mentor/coach to a single student or speaking to hundreds as a keynote speaker, he shares his experiences through storytelling and has helped thousands in the pursuit of their dreams. In 2011, Sam delivered a TEDxSFU speech about ‘Discovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’. This then led to a published book on personal storytelling and helping the reader build their story-voice – https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=sam+thiara&type=. He is now writing his next book about his adventures to India to find his ancestral roots and in the process, better understand his identity.
Since 2004, Sam found his calling at the Beedie School of Business and Fraser International College at Simon Fraser University. His leadership role has always been to enhance the student/alumni/young professional experience so they develop their personal brand. Sam has been creative and innovative in his approach to student/alumni engagement and has created countless opportunities for his audiences. As a lecture at the Beedie School of Business and Fraser International College, Sam has received exemplary ratings. He possess a keen interest in the international student area and helping the students succeed both academically, professionally and personally. Sam created a conversation skills workshop series to help students on their soft skills as this is vitally important to help international students transition.
Prior to SFU, Sam was part of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Committee and ICBC road safety where it was about about community building. With 45 + volunteer organizations that Sam has been involved with from the board, advisory to volunteer level, he has dedicated countless hours to his communities. Presently, he is working with multiple organizations such as the SFU Alumni Association, Shanti Uganda, Room to Read and many more.
Sam completed his Masters in Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter in England, has a double major in Business Administration and Political Science from SFU, completed a certificate in Life Coaching from Cambridge University, a community leadership program through Leadership Vancouver, a Human Resources certificate from BCIT, and adult education certification with Vancouver Community College.
Sam consistently strives to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary and his journey is documented at Sams50-50.com. His favourite saying and what he lives by: “Everyone’s life is an autobiography…make yours worth reading!”